Her time with us is part of her ERASMUS scheme supporting her study of New Media & Communication Technology at Howest, Kortijk. ERASMUS is a great opportunity for students to travel to other countries of Europe to study or gain experience in a relevant workplace and we are very pleased Gillian and Howest reached out to host a programming internship.
Gillian has so far proven herself to be a skilled and talented developer, bringing determination and positivity to the programming challenges she has been doing with us. Her skill set and past experience brings a refreshing outlook on programming to the Foundry team, and her keenness to continue growing in knowledge means she is no-doubt going to grow as a coder and professional during her internship. Aside from her skills and talent, she has settled seamlessly into agency life, bringing a great energy, funny anecdotes and even Belgian sweets.
Gillian found her passion for coding by chance when she excelled in a programming class that was a requirement of an Industrial Design course she undertook. Finding Industrial Design was not for her, but having enjoyed the programming module, she began to look further into coding and communication education paths. That is how Gillian came to study New Media & Communication Technology at Howest, Kortijk which is where she joins us from on internship for a few months.
It’s interesting hearing about the education system and technology classes in Belgium. We have found that, similarly to here, a big majority of technology course participants are male. In fact, when the New Media & Communication Technology class started running in 1998 just 2 of 120 students were female, and this has only reached approximately 4 of 200 this year!
We’ve been learning of Gillian’s experiences as a talented female in a predominantly male industry. She says she has grown to not be bothered by the situations and comments she faces because of her existence in an industry with such gender disparity, but admits:
It’s not cool to be treated differently or praised because I’m a woman, it would be nice if I was recognised for my skill, rather than because they find it surprising a woman can succeed in programming
Having found an internship in London, it is apparent that Gillian is proactive in following her passion to work in programming. It is therefore no surprise, yet inspiring, that she has aspirations for the future.
Attending an internship fair before joining Foundry Digital she was sure to visit the Ernest & Young stall and speak to them about their company’s opportunities as their work with security has become something she is increasingly interested in.
What Ernest & Young do is amazing to me, it really is. Once I’ve done my security course, working for them is something I would love to pursue
Gillian has certainly made a strong impression with us so far, and though it is early days we have all the confidence that she’ll go on to have a great career as developer.
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